Temple police training for mental health calls

Published: Mar. 19, 2021 at 8:43 PM CDT
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TEMPLE, Texas (KWTX) - In an effort to improve law enforcement officers’ interactions during mental health calls, the Temple Police Department is ordering officers to participate in extensive training.

Crisis Intervention Deputy Sean Edwards and a number of mental health experts coached and offered guidance for these temple police officers dealing with the mock scenarios.

“We spend all day on scenarios where we put them in calls that they will be in every day,” he said.

“We just want to help with their response.”

The scenarios included a hostage situation, a distressed mental health patient at a public park, and even situations having to do with off-duty officers dealing with stress.

“The biggest thing that I’ve taken away from this class is the resources of where I can send people for help,” said Temple Police Officer Cody Close.

“If they’re not gonna hurt themselves or anyone around them, I can now say hey, here’s the process and here’s how we can get started.”

Close says mental health calls happen more often than not.

Back in January, a similar mental health call resulted in the death of Patrick Warren at the hands of a Killeen police officer.

Moving forward, close says all law enforcement should be prepared for handling mental health calls peacefully.

“Every time we hear of an officer getting involved in something that could’ve been handled maybe not differently, but with a little more training, we’re gonna take that training and apply it anyway that we can,” she said.

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